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Posted on Oct 9, 2013 | 18 comments

Travel Tips: Staying Healthy While Traveling

Travel Tips: Staying Healthy While Traveling

Staying healthy while traveling is a concern for many travelers. There are risks involved with spending several hours confined with stale recycled air and strangers. To keep yourself healthy on your travels, there are a few precautions that you will want to take.

Staying Healthy While Flying

Pack your carry-on wisely to help yourself stay healthy while flying.

Staying Healthy Starts at Home

Staying healthy while traveling starts at home. Start off with these steps  in the days leading up to getting on a plane, train, or into an automobile or bus, even before you walk out the door. In order to prepare yourself at home for a healthy trip pack the following in your personal item carry on:

  • Pack a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes
  • Your own fill-able water bottle
  • A neck pillow
  • Snacks such as fresh fruit, nuts, high-protein bars, and jerky
  • Flip flops or slippers
  • Sleep mask

Prepare Your Immune System

Next prepare your body by helping it to build its immune system to have an easier time fighting off viruses. Three days before your flight:

  • Take extra Vitamin C and B Complex to boost your immune system.
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Eat high-protein, low carb meals with plenty of fresh veggies.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of 8 oz of water per day.

Staying Healthy While in Transit

Lastly, you will want to take these steps once on the plane, train, or automobile to ensure you stay healthy during your travels:

  • Use your anti-bacterial wipes to clean your seat armrests, tray, seat belt buckle and any other frequently used surfaces in your seat area.
  • Don’t use the backseat pocket. It’s the dirtiest place on a plane and many other forms of transportation. Everyone uses them, but no one is cleaning them.
  • To boost circulation, walk to the bathroom and down the aisles as frequently as possible. At the very least, do this every hour.
  • Stretch or do yoga in your seat every 30 minutes.
  • Make sure to wash your hands before eating and after using the restroom.
  • Use a paper towel to turn off faucets and open doors.
  • Drink 8oz of water for every hour of flight.
  • Avoid drinking soda, alcohol, and caffeine during the flight.
  • Don’t use headphones, blankets, or pillows, supplied by the airline, unless you know they are brand new. To be on the safe side, it’s always best to bring your own.
Staying Healthy While Flying

Get up to stretch and walk around every hour.

Follow these tips to help you stay healthy while traveling and after. To continue to stay healthy upon arrival, make sure to get a full night’s rest and drink plenty of water. After everything you did to keep yourself healthy in-transit, it’d be awful to come down with something from not continuing to take care of yourself at your destination.

Do you have any travel tips for staying healthy while traveling?

All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013.

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About Kimmy Hayes

Kimmy Hayes is the founder and editor-in-chief of AfterGlobe; a site on becoming debt free and traveling the world as a married couple. In 2012, she planned and coordinated her own do-it-yourself destination wedding on the beautiful island of Maui while serving as a moderator for the on-line community, The Knot. She is passionate about traveling to experience new cultures, snorkeling the waters of the world and reading with her toes in the sand.


  1. I’m with Lance. Airplane bathrooms really creep me out! I know airplanes are really so germy if you really think about it so I try not to. I should probably be better about wiping things down and stretching.
    Meagan | recently posted…Art Village in Namhae, South KoreaMy Profile

    • The back pocket of the seat in front of you in dirtier. At least the bathrooms get cleaned every day.
      Kimmy Hayes recently posted…Pay Off Debt or TravelMy Profile

  2. Jeepers, great post kimmy. I’d never thought of the germ fest inside those backseat pockets. Ewwwwwwww! I alsways put my things in them but no more! Thanks for the tips!

  3. Great tips!! I could have used these a few weeks ago :) I am horrible at the getting enough sleep thing…ended up sick before and after our last trip! I need to print this out to remind myself for next time!
    Jenna recently posted…Haunted Museum in Key West: East Martello MuseumMy Profile

    • I know that! You do have to slow it down while traveling. If you don’t let your body rest and get enough sleep, you are doomed to get sick.
      Kimmy Hayes recently posted…A Weekend in Xi’an, ChinaMy Profile

  4. We’ve started adding “Meta C with Zinc” a zinc and vitamin C powdered supplement to our travel routine.

    Just 1/2 a teaspoon in a glass of water for the first couple days after a flight. It really helps to boost your immune system and ward off any bugs you may have caught during the flight.

  5. I’d suggest lemon water, or warm lemon water. it helps detox your digestive tract and jump start your bowels. I drink it every morning and night and it’s amazing! even good for your skin. Eating healthy bacteria (yogurt, kombucha) will also help keep your system clean. In addition – yoga poses! They can be done for free – and anywhere!


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